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 Post subject: new Gaastra Jeckyll kites
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:26 pm 
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i have been lucky enougn to have some of the pre production samples for testing of the new Gaastra Jeckyll kites, i just wanted to write a quick review on these and before i start i have no affiliation with any company!

first impressions when i pulled them out of the almost libriarian looking bag was, "these look great". i recieved a 12 (red and olive) and a 10 (olive), some of the other other riders poo pooed the colours but i really like the olive. the build quality on these kites is top notch with cordura on the wingtips (this is a material they use on some motocross pants), pads over the strut tips and good solid stitching. even though the kites are strongly built they are still very light.

the bridle is a simple direct attachment with two attachments for the rear lines, the rear line attachment came on the forward attachment so i flew the kite on it to start off with.
the bar that comes with the kite is in my opinion a little on the cheap side, the bar ends are very basic but have a cool feature that allows you to put the lines on the inside or outside depending on what size kite you are riding, i used the outside setting for the 12 and the inside for the 10. i did try flying the 12 on the inside setting and it was turning too slowly for me.
what the bar ends lack is made up for by suppling the great quality lines and nice safety release on the chicken loop, this is very easy to release and put back together! when the lines where set to length there was very little stretch so im guessing they should last very well, after flying the kites i have since re checked the lines and they have all stretched the same amount.

these kites where burning a hole in my trunk while there was no wind (typical!), so the first test flight was done in a park at the beach in about 5 knots. i managed to self launch the 12 and keep the kite in the air. it flew very well considering the light gusty wind and using the apparent wind in the next to nothing lulls it stayed up and had decent power across the window! excellent low end.

the next session i managed to get out on the water in 15kts and had a blast! i started on a surfboard and had plenty of power. i found the jeckyll had a very nice turn and the feeling on the bar from the direct bridle grew on me towards the end of the session. with out the pulleys on the bridle there is a slightly heavier bar pressure but it is still nothing to cry about!
this is an amazing upwind kite, it just wants to surge upwind! after the wind filled in a little bit i traded my surfbard for a twin tip and was effortlessly making ground i short tacks.
after crashing the kite a few times i had a few problems with launching it, i found that grabbing a handfull of the centreline when it was directly downwind and pulling it in helped to put the kite on its back and then pulling the side line got it up ok but not fast enough for my liking. since i have change the rear lines to the rear attachment points and the re launching is much easier, this has also made the kite turn really fast and surprisingly not increase the bar pressure too much!
after riding the 12 i have given the 10 a good workout and both these kites perform really well, its a shame i have have to give these demo's back :(

overall i found these kites to have great lowend grunt, fast turning and a wide range. i have since ridden the 12 in some strong winds and the kite still rides well depowered. gaastra have done an excellent job on the build quality but the bar could do with some more work in regards to the cheap looking ends.
the extra attachment points are nice for the tinkerer who likes to play with different settings and there is plety of room for tinkering with maybe thinking about putting some pulleys onto the bridle??
if you get the chance to have blat on one of these kites dont pass it up! i think this kite could possibly put gaastra back on the map as one of the great kite manufactures.

pics to posted shortly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:38 am
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hey pelican, this is a nice to read review. first of all thx. I got two questions i hope you can answer me...

1. is the bar a preproduction too, or will it be like this of the end customer aswell. and what are the thinks you dont like at it??!

2. did you check the other new kites like helix and bandit??! would be great if you compare them!

many thx for your time, but i think many people would appriciate this a lot :thumb:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:35 pm
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Location: Brasil
i think this is a preproduction bar, because the one i got to test the jekyll was not the fanciest thing i ever saw, but it was all over ok... evrything was easy to replace and looked like it last forever...

to compare the kites would be nice! we have to check some mags aswell. but most of them dont compare the kites. they just say: kite xy can do this etc....

but to telling us: hey if you want to do this and that -> take kite xy, but if you more into that -> take kite yx...

know what i mean, or am i even more confusing in an foreign language :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:06 pm
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KV - the only thing i didnt really like was the bar ends on the bar, they just seemed to lack. they are a plain injected moulded peice, i think last years max bar was really nice it had like a dipped polyurethane bar end. but this is just a personal thing apart from that the bar does everything is is supposed too! as jimboo says it does look like it will last forever.

jimboo - its hard to compare this kite to others as it is a different feel than all ths others i have flown. the big feature that i liked was the wingtips stayed straight when totally sheeted in, not like the waroos and some other kites that pull in and seem to choke the kite. this is one of the reasons i think it turns so well and holds speed and power through the turns. what did you like about it when you flew it?

IMO this is a great kite and does evrything you could every want a kit to do well. if there are some tinkerers out that that made a pulley bridle for it it could take this to a whole new level. anyones thoughts?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:35 pm
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Location: Brasil
mostly i liked the massive hangtime!!! this was really amazing to me.

after that i really liked the "easy to fly" behaviour. you can just ride and practice your stuff yu want to learn... i never lost control with the jekyll.

then i remember my old fuel. maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, if you did something wrong the bitch pulls you 200m leeward. this is nice if you´re really young and need this kind of raw power. but in my age, you want to learn the stuff, and after this you want to go crazy.

And this i felt is possible with the jekyll!

I´m waiting for the bandit now, but i almost bought 2 new jekyll´s! i´ll go for 8m and 12m PLUS the 5th line. I like that gaastra offers this "choose your style of safety" thing.


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 Post subject: bandit vs. jekyll
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:38 am
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i wonder if you really can compare the jekyll with the bandit. i mean, sure there both some kind of bowkite, but i think, correct me if i´m wrong: the target is a little bit different.---

what is it:

jekyll-> all styles bow kite

bandit -> f-one one kite only solution

mhhh, i think i was wrong in the beginning. so GREAT. we can compare. so i´m lookign forward to the test... :girl:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:35 pm
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Location: Brasil
f*** no wind in the forecast for the weekend. i like to test the jekyll and the bandit. .... :idea:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:25 am 
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another thing that comes to mind is the heavy duty construction of these kites, they still seem to weight only a small amount.
the wheather has been really cappy here so there has not been much of a chance for photo's :( i should have some3thing here next week.

i agree with the stabilty of the jeckyll, you can crash big time and still come up to kite that is in the air! letting go of the bar is no problem to do some adjusting or drink a redbull! i had a girk who is 45kg riding this kite in about 5knots of wind! she was so stoked!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:35 pm
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Location: Brasil
@ kite-venomer:

i´m not the pro, but i think - like you wrote it - they are more or less for the same target group. BUT the exciting thing is: the bandit is the extreme freestyle kite now too...

i´m afrais this is too much for one kite... but we´ll see!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:38 am
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this is what i do wonder too...

why the hack one kite can do it all, and then better than all....

i cannot believe this... maybe it is overall top, but in specific tasks, it has to be worse than special kites....

if it is not like this: poor other companys ... shame on you :oops:


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